eCommerce has become one of the fastest developing industries in the world. With the development and evolution of the digital world, it has become simple and efficient to conduct business online. Hire an eCommerce agency and reach the masses across the globe.
Many entrepreneurs choose to kick-start their stores online due to the ease of doing business over the internet. Not only is it easier to cut out the expenses and hassle of a brick and mortar store, but it allows the store to reach wider and more unique audiences and customers than a physical store. It is quicker and less time consuming to start up something online once you have the product and resources ready to start selling.
Research on the growth of ecommerce has shown that there are an estimated 1.92 billion customers online that can be tapped into by ecommerce stores. Total eCommerce sales will account for 13.7% of all retails sales worldwide. And this is only the only beginning of the growth.
So, if you are thinking about having a piece of the pie, what do you need to start your online business store? We put together a few basic essentials of starting off your new eCommerce store.
A Functional Site
This may sound obvious, but the first step is to set up a site which is fast, efficient and simple to use. Research shows that most people drop off a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. For a start-up a high bounce rate could be the death of your business. You need to decide whether you are going to be creating your own website, or buying an already existing website.
Buying a website does have its advantages:
- It is already optimized for SEO rankings;
- It should already have established traffic;
- It is easier to optimize the site that has already been created.
If you are creating a site from scratch, however, you will need to spend time on going through your customer journey. Start by looking at the name of your site. Is it catchy enough? Is it memorable? Does it relate to your product. If you find yourself stuck on the brand of the site, there are name generation tools available online for you to pick out the best name for your site.
Take a journey through your site to see exactly what your customer sees. What page do they land on, what is the flow of pages that leads them to the check out. How many steps does it take them to get to checkout?
All of this needs to be optimized in order to reduce the bounce rate, which in turn, has a significant effect on SEO.
Effective Payment and Fulfillment Solutions
The payment process is the next thing that you need to focus on. Over 75% of sites face a high bounce rate on the payments pages. This is due to various reasons:
- Lack of trust for the payment solution;
- Long forms to fill out for purchases;
- Ineffective payment tools;
- Hidden costs like shipping or VAT.
- Low security for payments.
Once again, you are encouraged to go through the full process yourself to see what your customer sees. You cannot put enough protection and security badges on your site. If you have a secure payment system in place, let your customer know as often as you can.
Fulfilment and shipping is another huge factor to consider when you are starting your online store. Most startups don’t have the capital to open a warehouse to store the products. The key solution here is to make use of a dropshipping guide whereby you pick up the products directly from the source and deliver it to the customer.
You need to ensure that your shipping delivers what you promise the customer. So, if you are promising a three day delivery, in order to maintain loyal customers, you need to ensure that that can be achieved.
High Quality Content
They say that content is king, and we couldn’t agree more. In order to attract customers to your site, as well as to convert them to loyal fans, you need high quality to be generated on all of your pages, as well as to go out regularly in a blog.
Content increases your searchability on Google. The more relevant, and high quality content that you generate on your site, the higher you will be ranked by Google. Research the prime keywords that people use to search for your site and make sure that they are used in the site.
Content can also convert a visitor into a loyal fan. High quality content allows people to hear your story, relate to you and develop a sense of trust with you and your brand. If you are providing readers with interesting, and knowledge-based content, they will know that they can trust you and will be more likely to buy from you.
Making use of this content is the next stage of creating your eCommerce site. There are numerous ways to use this content to market your site and your product:
- Social Media;
- Weekly Mailers;
- Paid Search;
- Affiliate Marketing.
Start the content on your blog and post at least one to two posts a day. You can then get these content pieces out to your subscribers through weekly or bi-weekly mailers. There are affordable email software platforms that you can use to reach out to thousands and even hundreds of thousands of subscribers instantly.
Share the articles on social media daily, with a budget to push each successful article. Lastly, share the content to affiliates and other sites to maximise the reach of the post. All in all, the more you maximize your content reach, the more you are likely to establish a name for your brand!
Keep in mind that your customer needs to be won over and surprised and delighted at all times. Once a customer has received this kind of experience with you, you will be able to convert them into loyal fans. Look at your customer journey and research key ways of maximising your journey to make your customer fall in love with your brand.